New York City FC owns the best home-field advantage in Major League Soccer.
NYCFC plays the small dimensions at Yankee Stadium to its favor in a perfect manner, and its offense has been ruthless in two of three games on the baseball diamond turned soccer field this season.
NYCFC is back inside the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium on Sunday to play the San Jose Earthquakes in what could be the most lopsided result on the MLS Week 9 schedule.
The Eastern Conference side is listed as a -250 favorite on the money line, but there are other ways to bet it at a better price to take advantage of the unique home setup.
Home teams typically do well each week in MLS, but there are a few weak home side to exploit on the Week 9 schedule.
My two road underdog picks are both over +200 and might be able to get the job done easily if they back up the numbers presented below.
MLS Week 9 Best Bets
Overall Record: 9-9
San Jose Earthquakes at New York City FC (-1.5; +105) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)
NYCFC's last win inside Yankee Stadium was a 6-0 triumph over Real Salt Lake.
NYCFC has a 10-1 margin in victories in the Bronx this season. It has one loss at home to the Philadelphia Union in a week that also had a Concacaf Champions League game. It beat Toronto FC, 5-4, at Citi Field in Week 8.
San Jose is the only MLS team with 20 concessions through eight weeks. The Quakes gave up multiple goals in each of their last four games.
Matias Almeyda's exit did not help things in the back against the Seattle Sounders last week. Seattle scored three times on the Quakes.
San Jose's defense could be outmatched again, and on Sunday, there will not be a ton of opportunities to score against the NYC back line.
The home side can easily put up four or five goals, which is why the spread bet is a much better wager than the money line or the basic over of 2.5 goals, both of which are over -200.
Atlanta United at CF Montreal (+120) (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET)
CF Montreal is one of the sneaky good stories of the first two months.
The Quebec side earned a point on the road against the Union last week and it could control Saturday's home match with Atlanta.
Montreal and Atlanta played to a 3-3 draw on March 19. Montreal had a 3-1 lead before all heck broke loose in that contest. Atlanta actually got better after Dom Dwyer was sent off and it scored twice after the 85th minute.
Montreal won the expected goals battle, 2.4-0.8, in that contest and it is the healthier side of the two going into Saturday. Brad Guzan and Josef Martinez are among the injury absences for the Five Stripes.
Wilfried Nancy's side has a MVP front-runner in Djordje Mihailovic and a ton of momentum on its side right now. I'll take that over an injury-riddled side on the road.
FC Dallas (+200) at Sporting Kansas City (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
No team in MLS is hurting more than Sporting Kansas City.
Long-term injuries to Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda derailed the season before it even delivered a glimmer of promise.
Peter Vermes is a great coach, but it is going to take a lot to make his team competitive this season.
FC Dallas sits in fourth place in the Western Conference and it has not lost in its last six matches.
FC Dallas owns the lowest road concession rate in the West with one goal allowed in three contests. That form should translate into Saturday and it would allow Jesus Ferreira and others to pounce on a SKC team that is down bad.
Portland Timbers (+350) at Colorado Rapids (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET)
I watched the Colorado Rapids struggle through 90 minutes against Charlotte FC last weekend.
The Rapids did not offer much going forward and the entrance of Gyasi Zardes for his debut did not help a ton.
Colorado scored either zero or one goals in each of its last five games and its xGA has been 0.9 or higher in those contests.
Portland is significantly better than Charlotte and this is the perfect game for the Timbers to get a win on the road to keep up a four-game unbeaten run.
The Timbers played to back-to-back goalless draws against Houston and Real Salt Lake, which is a positive sign for any road team in MLS. A clean sheet or a strong defensive performance is a must-have on the road.
Portland had xG totals of 1.4 and 1.3 in its last two road games. If it capitalizes on that number on Saturday, it could come away with three points.